United’s New Digital Operations Center to Combat Mistake Fares and Delta Avoids a Flight Attendants Union

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary–Doesn’t it rub you the wrong way when airlines make claims like United did that they lost $2.9 million? Everyone knows 95%+ of folks would never have purchased the ticket if it wasn’t a mistake fare? And yes, some seats are being taken up but it is unlikely most flight will go out 100% full. So actual lost revenue is maybe $150k-$250k plus the modest cost of the miles awarded, which one could argue is a very good deal for free PR and building customer loyalty. Maybe we can convince airlines to periodically issue “mistake” fares unpurpose. 🙂

  2. Sounds like putting a bottle of booze in each of your bags just became the new way to get a free checked bag on RyanAir.

  3. I just…. love… this snippet:
    “At the Digital Operations Center, staff will use special software from Sitscape and a 10-monitor video wall to ‘detect commercial impacts, fraudulent activity and end user manipulations.'”

    Let’s see… one monitor with real-time United booking velocity data…(this one will be the most igrnored…)
    Then, one monitor with Flytertalk refreshing constantly… one monitor pointed to Twitter feeds.. one monitor on The Flight Deal… … and the other 6 pointed at blogger sites!

    “…fraudulent activity and end user manipulations” Really??! Do you mean people buying your product on the open market at your published price??

    Way to go United. Focus on monitoring the public consumption of your errors, instead of focusing on not making errors. And characterize the people doing the buying as fraudsters and hackers?

  4. I wonder if this action by United was provoked by people complaining to the DOT regarding tickets purchased under the Denmark currency mistake? Methinks almost certainly…

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